When it comes to link building experts, Jon Cooper of PointBlankSEO.com is right at the top of the list.
For that reason, I wanted to bring Jon on the podcast for a second time (hear the first time here) to discuss link building tactics that are working right now. In particular, Perrin and I got a chance to ask about our authority site and actually get some personalized advice for how we should approach our link building.
What I've always loved about Jon's advice is that it is not just short term tactic based. He truly tries to find the best way to acquire and attract links in a way that will last long term. These are strategies that really should work in 2015 and beyond.
As I've mentioned before, Jon has documented all of his link building strategies in an excellent guide: The Point Blank SEO Link Building Course.
I've been through the course myself, and have referred to it many times over the past couple of years. Jon keeps this course up to date and the tactics are white hat strategies that really don't change much anyway.
I asked if Jon was willing to give a discount on the course to my readers and he agreed. You can get the link building course for 20% off…but only for the next 7 days.
That is basically the check out page. If you want to see the full sales page before you get the discount, go here.
Podcast Interview Notes
Perrin and I enjoyed interview Jon, and below are most of the questions we asked. The answers are really only in an abbreviated format below, this is not a transcript.
What is your current business?
I have an SEO blog specifically on link building that I've built my business around. I've been focusing the last 6 months on just my SEO agency.
How did the launch of the Advanced eCommerce Link Building Guide?
It went pretty well, but not quite as well as I had hoped. I may re-open it but never allow more than 500 total people buy it.
Why would you limit the sales to 500 copies?
Link building is a zero sum game. So, if everyone becomes an expert link builder some tactics loose potency.
What kind of clients are you looking for in your link building agency?
I could do a lot to get more clients, because I only want the certain amount of clients. We weed out potential clients based on the types of links we build (lots of resource pages and broken link building right now).
Are you still involved in the eCommerce site that we discussed on our last podcast?
Yes, I'm still involved there. However, I've shifted my focus a bit because I've been getting so many link building leads through my blog. So, I've decided to focus a bit more on where some of these opportunities are.
It's difficult to grow a new business and still pull yourself in multiple directions. By picking one primary business, its had a huge impact on my bank account.
We have an authority site and want your link building advice. What are some link building tactics we should implement?
First, you should realize that there are not lots of “new” link building tactics out there. Pretty much every type of link building has been talked about and well documented on the internet.
You guys mentioned that you have created a scholarship page to attract links. If you business doesn't apply to an academic area in a very specific way, you probably shouldn't create a scholarship. Getting links from just general scholarship pages just aren't doing much. There isn't much link juice on these pages anymore.
If you find that your business is relevant to an academic area, then it's okay to use a scholarship page. Then you would only try to get links from scholarship pages that are relevant to that particular academic area.
Without the relevance, it doesn't have a lot of merit.
What else would you advise for link building?
I think it's important for alot of people to realize that the impact of link building 5 years ago to today is much different. I've found more and more that you can't hide bigger issues on-site.
You will be really disappointed with your link building efforts if you don't fix the on-site issues first.
What are the biggest on-site issues that you see?
It could be the architecture of the site?
eCommerce site; making sure you have decent content on your category and product pages. Sites that get it right from the beginning are at a big advantage over those that had issues and try to constantly fix those.
It could be duplicate pages or lack of unique content.
What tips do you have for getting good links in general?
Strategies can be very different depending on the niche that you are in.
For example, if you look at beekeeping supplies. A lot of the best links for sites ranking well in this niche are just resource pages. There is a lot of low hanging fruit because they sell the supplies. These links are super easy to get.
Contrast that from payday loans; there just isn't that many quality pages that you can get links from.
So, depending on what niche you are in will really determine how easy you can get links.
You can look at different sub-niches below you and your competitors and find out what types of links they are getting. I spend a lot of my time doing competitor research.
Relevance is almost like the new PageRank as well. So, make sure you are getting links from relevant pages.
What's the most efficient type of link building that people should focus on?
You should focus on one large content asset. However, if you don't have the time, still try to create a resource that you know you can get links to. Then you should manually reach out to people that are likely to link to this resource.
I would personally focus on a large content asset.
The more time you spend on less content, the better chance you have that that content will get shared and linked to. You really need to be in the top 1 or 2%.
There are a couple of types of articles that are naturally link worthy.
First is just breaking news. If you can share something new, it will get linked to.
The other type of content is the Ultimate guide to XYZ. For example, I did this on PointBlankSEO with my Link Building Strategies page. These types of guides may not immediately get tons of links, but over time they have great potential to.
What tools do you use to reach out and get links?
I use BuzzStream. My entire business is built around using BuzzStream.
This one tool helps me keep track of all the emails, leads, and links that I'm trying to acquire.
BuzzStream keeps track of response rates and more.
How many responses do you get when you do outreach for links?
I'm very focused on success rates. We've had ranges of success rates from 4% to 18%.
Is your point blank SEO course still up to date?
The Link Building course has been updated and its how I train my team. So, its definitely still up to date.
The information if very much white hat; it's not the kind of stuff that changes with Google changes.
Where should people follow along with you?
Overall, Perrin and I really enjoyed doing the interview! Hopefully, you are able to get some valuable link building ideas from the podcast.
As a reminder, Jon was kind enough to offer the Niche Pursuits audience only a discount of 20% off his Link Building Course. You can see what the course is all about here (but only buy from the discount link below).
Perrin and I have been implementing several of the tactics from the course and this interview to our new authority site, and we will be sharing more results in the near future.
As always, I would love to hear any thoughts or questions that you may have about the interview in the comments below.